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Building the Capacity of Boards

Jennifer Lee-Rambharose is a research associate for the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and project coordinator for the Community Living Equity Center at Brandeis. She is a resident of Springfield and a proud woman with a disability. She serves as the President of PHIWM’s Board of Directors.

"In order to build community capacity to address social determinants of health, agencies within the community must have a commitment to strengthening the capacity of their Board of Directors. I joined PHIWM board over 4years ago given the agency’s commitment to addressing race and health equity within all phases of the organization. Within the Board, the Race and Health Equity Committee leads initiatives to support the agency in continuing to become an anti-racist organization and brings a race and health equity lens to every board meeting while fostering understanding of issues through shared discussion and relationship building. A few years ago, the agency supported the board’s interest in developing a resource guide. It now has blossomed into a repository of resources to strengthen understanding of race and health equity. The Board and Staff Matrix can be a helpful tool to evaluate existing board composition to support an agency in assessing if their board is reflective of their service population. Creating space to develop shared language and understanding of terms has allowed the PHIWM board to share many conversations about race and health equity and the implications of inequity. These conversations help us to support PHIWM in serving community and diverse stakeholders. The Race and Health Equity Glossary can move conversations amongst your board, program, or agency. I have had the privilege to lead boards and coalitions, and these resources are now a part of my toolkit! I believe these tools can support boards, programs, and initiatives of all sizes to grow capacity and strengthen leadership to better support organizations to build healthier communities."




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